Hopi chipmunk

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Hopi chipmunk
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Neotamias
Species: N. rufus
Binomial name
Neotamias rufus
(Hoffmeister and Ellis, 1979)

Eutamias quadrivittatus rufus Hoffmeister and Ellis, 1979
Tamias rufus: Levensen et al., 1985

The Hopi chipmunk (Neotamias rufus) is a small chipmunk found in Colorado, Utah and Arizona in the southwestern United States.[1] It was previously grouped with the Colorado Chipmunk, T. quadrivittatus.[1]

Hopi chipmunks prefer rocky areas with pinion and juniper pines and feed mostly on nuts, seeds and fruits. Food gathered is stored in cheek pouches and taken elsewhere for consumption or storage. They nest in rock piles or crevices. Habitat: This is the common chipmunk of much of the canyon and slickrock piñon-juniper country in western Colorado. Population densities appear to be highest in areas with an abundance of broken rock or rubble at the base of cliff faces or in rock formations with deep fissures and crevices suitable for den sites.

Diet: Seeds of Indian ricegrass and penstemon are eagerly sought as are seeds of junipers, piñon, oak, skunkbrush, and other shrubs.

Description: This species is distinguished by somewhat smaller size and a dorsal pelage that generally lacks significant amounts of black in the stripes, resulting in a more orange red to buff pelage. Measurements are: total length 190–221 mm; length of tail 83–95 mm; length of hindfoot 31–35 mm; length of ear 15–22 mm.

Range in Colorado: The Hopi chipmunk occurs in western Colorado from the Yampa River south. It ranges eastward along the Colorado River to Eagle County and along the Gunnison to the western end of the Black Canyon.

Status: This species is not listed [2]

Hopi chipmunks are naturally timid, and even individuals born in captivity never become tame. Like Panamint chipmunks, they live in southwestern pinyon-juniper forests and nest in rock crevices or piles of broken rock. They are fast and sure-footed on the sheer rock faces of canyons and buttes. They often climb into shrubs to get seeds, but never eat there: either they take the food to the safety of their den, or perch on a boulder or other lookout where they can eat but at the same time watch for hawks or other predators. Sexual Dimorphism: Females are slightly larger than males.

Length: Average: 211 mm Range: 197–221 mm

Weight: Range: 52-62 g


  1. ^ a b c Linzey, A. V. & Hammerson, G. (2008). "Tamias rufus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Stephanie l. Burt & Troy L. Best (2 June 1994). "Mammalian Species: Tamias rufus" (PDF). 460. American Society of Mammalogists.